It kind of serves me right. I was complaining to D last night about how much I hate during the week picking up the Peanut from daycare, coming home, cooking dinner, giving her a bath and then putting her to bed. Where’s the fun ‘quality’ time in that? Actually, it makes me really angry if I think about it too much, so I’m going to take a deep breath and try to let it go before this post gets totally derailed.
The point is, just last night I was asking for more time with the Peanut.
Her crying started at 4:30 this morning. D and I lay side by side, both trying to pretend that we were still asleep, that this isn’t happening, that she will just cry for a minute and go back to sleep.
A wrenching nightmare scream blares through the monitor and my eyes fly open. Screams make it harder to pretend I’m still asleep. “Jesus,” D swears and throws the covers off to walk downstairs. I briefly feel a little guilty, but roll over onto my side anyway. I listen to him mutter soothing things through the monitor and soon all is quiet. I hear him come back up the stairs and crawl into bed behind me. “That was relatively quick and easy,” I think.
And then I feel a little foot in my back. “Jerk,” I think. “He didn’t get her back to sleep that easy, he just brought her back up here. Now NONE of us are going to get any sleep.” I roll over to confirm my suspicions, finding the Peanut balled up lengthwise between us. I turn her so she’s not kicking me in the side anymore, putting her head on my arm and pulling her in close for a snuggle.
She lays that way, still and quiet, for a while and I can almost hope that maybe we will be able to get some sleep this way. I allow my eyes to close again and start to relax. The Peanut shifts and I can feel her warm breath on my face.
“Eye” she says, and I feel a tiny finger press against my closed eyelid. I can’t help but smile.
“Mouf,” she says, and presses an open hand against my lips.
“Nose,” and . . . a finger’s up my nose. I turn my face into my pillow to both get away and to hide my giggles. “Shh,” I say, “It’s not time to be awake yet. Mommy and Daddy are sleeping.”
“Yes, lay down. You should still be asleep.” I settle her back down between us and start to rub her back, praying that I’m soothing her back to sleep. Knowing that I’m not, that I’m just buying a few more precious moments of silence.
Soon I feel the Peanut sit up between us again, but so long as she is quiet I’ll keep my eyes closed. She adjust the blankets over me and starts to pat my back. I try not to laugh again. She’s ‘putting me to sleep.’ I crack open one eye and see that she’s doing the same thing to D, sitting between us and patting the blankets over each of us. Her pats gradually get more aggressive.
“Give Mommy nice touches, Peanut,” D cautions. This is our way of saying, “Stop beating the crap out of that.”
The Peanut turns to D, pulls the blanket away from his face, and says, “Shh! GoodNIGHT, Daddy.” She firmly puts the blanket over his face again and resumes her patting, a little more gently this time. She’s soon distracted.
“El-bow” she says, pointing to D’s elbow sticking out from behind his head.
“That’s right, that’s my elbow,” D says. What a good sport. “Where’s your elbow?”
The Peanut struggles to turn her arm to she can see her elbow and gives up. “Elbow?” she asks and starts pulling the blankets away so she can find my elbow to touch. I hold up my elbow and all three of us wiggle our elbows like chicken wings.
The alarm clock had since gone off and we were on borrowed ‘snooze’ time. It was clear that none of us were going to be getting any more sleep. And it’s cost me a few extra cups of coffee this morning. But, I’m happy. Tonight I’ll probably go back to picking her up from daycare and rushing through the evening routine. She’ll be in bed before I realize. But this morning, that was my ‘quality time,’ and that’s what makes it all worthwhile.